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Jazz notes: Pacers haven't called Corbin about vacancy

Published February 2, 2011 12:07 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Oakland, Calif. • Another vacant head coaching job, another possibility for Jazz assistant Tyrone Corbin.

The Indiana Pacers fired Jim O'Brien on Sunday morning and, almost immediately, Cobin's name was linked to the job.

Saying Sunday night that he hasn't heard from the Pacers, Corbin added, "Here again, it's an honor to be mentioned. …

"But we're committed to what's going on here and now. If there is an opportunity, then we'll look at it at the end of the season."

That could happen.

Indiana named 37-year-old assistant Frank Vogel as its interim coach for the rest of the year, which indicates team president Larry Bird will take a couple of months to find O'Brien's permanent replacement.

Along with Corbin, others already mentioned as possiblities are former Cleveland coach Mike Brown and Mark Jackson, who starred for the Pacers, spent one season in Utah and is now an ESPN analyst.

Corbin and Jackson are represented by the same agent, Steve Kauffman.

'Never a fun thing'

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan endorsed Corbin for the Indiana job, if Bird's search reaches that point.

Referring to assistants Phil Johnson, Scott Layden and Corbin, Sloan said, "I think all of our guys would be qualified for that job. I think they'd all be great [head] coaches. I've just been blessed to have them."

This is Sloan's 23rd season as coach of the Jazz.

He is the longest-tenured head coach in any major professional sport.

Asked about O'Brien's dismissal, Sloan said, "I hate to see any coach get fired. As long as I've been in this business, it's never a fun thing to see. I guess I've [dodged] that bullet a number of times."

'Its tough to hear'

Jazz point guard Earl Watson played for O'Brien in Indiana last season.

He hadn't heard about the firing until told an hour before the Jazz played the Warriors.

"It's tough to hear," Watson said. "He's a coach that I absolutely respect to the fullest."

Citing an unsettled roster in recent years as a problem for O'Brien, Watson said, "It's a situation where they where they never had continuity — the same pieces from year-to-year. …

"I just wish him the best of luck transitioning and moving on with life."

Ellis 'unguardable'?

Golden State's Monta Ellis entered the game against Utah as the No. 4 scorer in the NBA.

He averaged 25.7 points in the Warriors' first 46 games, trailing only Kevin Durant (28.8), LeBron James (26.1) and Amare Stoudemire (26.0).

After Ellis scored 26 points in a 112-103 loss to New Orleans on Wednesday night, Hornets coach Monty Williams said, "Monta is a complete player, one of the few guys in the league that doesn't have a weakness. …

"There are a few people in the league who are unguardable. He's one of them. And he also happens to play defense."

luhm@sltrib.com